Thousands of daredevils have been risking their lives mucking about on train tracks – coming within moments of being hit by high-speed trains.

Heart-stopping footage shows people standing or walking in the path of trains before scrambling to safety micro-seconds before being hit.

The numbers of reckless people trespassing on the railway lines has hit an all-time peak, with an average of one incident every hour, new figures show.

Network Rail said the main reason people trespass on lines was actually to take a short cut.

Last year, there were 8,265 trespassing incidents – an 11 per cent increase from 2015 – with 115 killed over the past five years.

Just under half of those were under 25.

The figures are the highest since records began in 2007.

Another shocking clip showed a daredevil lying down on tracks and allowing a train to speed over him.

Network Rail's head of public and passenger safety Allan Spence said: "Every April we see a huge rise in the number of people taking a risk on the rail network and it's worrying that these numbers seem to be going up.

"Britain has the safest railway in Europe but still too many people lose their lives on the tracks.

"The dangers may not always be obvious but the electricity on the railway is always on and trains can travel up to 125mph, so even if they see you, they can't stop in time."